Final funding approved for South Slocan Greenway Project
At the Regional District of Central Kootenay (RDCK) monthly meeting in November, $115,000 in funding was approved from the Community Works fund to help with the completion of the South Slocan Greenway Project.
The Greenway Project will see four kilometers of the Slocan Valley Rail Trail (SVRT) from South Slocan to Crescent Valley being paved, a new south end terminus of the Rail Trail being constructed, a pedestrian underpass being constructed under Highway 6 and signage and bike racks being put in place so the Greenway connects with the new Crescent Valley Beach Park.
“This is confirmation of the final piece in the funding for the Greenway Project. We’re very pleased. ” says Helene Dostaler, Chair of the SVHTS, who manage the SVRT for Rec’ Sites and Trails BC (RSTBC).
“ We couldn’t have achieved this part of the funding without the support and perseverance of our Area H Director, Walter Popoff. He has always been a strong supporter of our Rail Trail over the years.”
Director Popoff added, “This project when completed will be a prime example what can be accomplished with support from the Province, Local Government, Columbia Basin Trust, and resident volunteers all working together towards a common goal that will benefit everyone.”
The SVRT has been lobbying for many years to the Ministry of Highways regarding their replacement of the bridge at South Slocan, to ensure connectivity to the southern terminus of the Slocan Valley Rail Trail, which is below the Dam Inn. A public outcry last winter and eventual allocation of some support funding helped to ensure that a pedestrian underpass would be part of the project.
The Greenway Project will finally offer a safe connection on the Rail Trail with the community of South Slocan and eventually the Trans-Canada Trail (TCT), now called The Great Trail. It will include a proper trailhead, bike racks, historical signage and signage linking the trail to the Crescent Valley Beach Park and the rest of the Slocan Valley Rail Trail.
“An asphalted surface will greatly expand the enjoyment of the non-motorised trail to a wider range of fitness levels and recreational sports usage such as in-line skating, cross training and skateboarding” adds Dostaler.
“There are also two schools the Trail passes who could potentially take advantage of the new surface in their programming.”
Further improvements will be made at the Crescent Valley Beach Park including signage, trail improvement, a covered area, crib stairs and erosion controls.
The Greenway Project was created through a unique partnership of the RDCK, Slocan Valley Heritage Trail Society (SVHTS), RSTBC and MoTI. The project received a CBT Recreation Infrastructure Grant for $250,000 this past August, which along with the Community Works Grant from the RDCK will cover the expense of Rail Trail construction.
The RDCK and the SVHTS partnered to receive a $92,500 grant from Bike BC, a portion of which will go to tunnel construction and a portion to the Crescent Valley Beach Park improvements. The Province, through MoTI and FLNRO will be contributing $449,000 for the pedestrian underpass and trailhead development.
The project is expected to be completed by November 2017.